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78 SMT007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2024 Feature Article by Alicia Balonek IPC Although IPC APEX EXPO was launched in 2000, the story began in 1994 with the open- ing of the IPC Printed Circuits Expo in Bos- ton, where more than 1,700 people attended the event, which hosted 158 exhibitors. In 1998, the Surface Mount Equipment Man- ufacturers Association (SMEMA) approached IPC for help. Because of IPC's success with the Printed Circuits Expo and recognizing the need to establish control of its own event, the discus- sions between SMEMA and IPC ensued. is led to a merger between the two organizations and provided SMEMA with IPC member ben- efits. To further meet the needs of equipment manufacturers as well as other suppliers to the assembly industry, a new conference and exhi- bition was born. e goal of IPC and SMEMA councils was to produce the premier event for the electronics assembly industry, providing a cost-effective forum for user/supplier dialogue with the guiding principles of reduced costs, focus, and fairness. Named APEX, this new event focused on the full electronics manufac- turing process and associated technologies. In 2004, IPC took the next logical step by co-locating the Printed Circuits Expo and the Designers Summit with APEX to create one event for the entire electronics interconnec- tion industry. e intent of the APEX event was to concentrate solely on the electronics A Brief History of IPC APEX EXPO

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